Aren’t Queen’s allowed to do what ever they want? Shouldn’t a queen have the right to swim wherever and whenever she likes? But in “Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine,” by Gloria Whelan, with illustrations by Nancy Carpenter, even Queens have rules they must follow. “Queen Victoria looked out at the sea. It was blue, it was cool, it was nice as could be. The day was so hot; the sun was so bright. Her petticoats itched and her corset was tight. She whispered a wish, it was only a whim. ‘How grand it would be to go for a swim.'” I’m sure most children can relate to the feeling of wanting to abandon restrictions and play in the water, at least mine do! Any opportunity to get wet, whether in the ocean, a fountain, a sprinkler, and water balloon fights are actively pursued during the summer. They’re certainly familiar with “drippy, and slushy and soggy and sodden” clothes!
Fortunately, Prince Albert steps in to help solve the problem and with the assistance of their children (who are up to no good on pretty much every page of the story) and builds a bathing machine that allows the Queen to preserve her dignity and go for a swim!
This charmingly rhyming book is based on a true story and the actual bathing machine Prince Albert constructed can still be seen on the Isle of Wight at Osborne House. From Roman Villas to Victorian castles, as well of course as beautiful beaches, there’s lots for families do see and do on the Isle of Wight.
Interested in adding Queen Victoria’s Bathing Maching to your child’s collection? Click here: Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine